You may have Bugs in your Mouth
No really, you do have bugs in your mouth, everyone does. So why should you care? Good bacteria (bugs) help fight infection and to digest your food. However if have chronic bad breath, blood on your tooth brush or when you floss, or a “toothy smile”, more than likely you have some degree of periodontal disease in your mouth.
If you have any of the above symptoms, I would not recommend that you go and brush harder or more often, that will not help, the bad bacteria (bugs) are below the gum line. Bad bacteria eat away at your gums and bone that support your teeth. This is not reversible but treatable, so get on it fast! If gone untreated periodontal disease can lead to loose teeth, then missing teeth.
What is the cause of the chronic bad breath?
When you have bad bacteria that eating away at your gums and bone support, those bad bacteria that eat also have to… yep you guessed it, go to the bathroom. So no matter how many mints you chew, how strong your mouthwash or how many times you brush and floss, that chronic bad breath will NOT go away.
This bad bacteria if gone untreated can and will only get worse if not treated by a licensed dentist or hygienist. Only a dentist or hygienist can do a cleaning below the gum line, usually while under local anesthesia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The (CDC) a study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 estimates that 47.2 percent or 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults age 65 and older, this increases to 70.1 percent.
What do you do if you or someone you know think has gum disease? Ask your dentist or hygienist to do a periodontal check. They will check the space between your gums and teeth and may take x-rays. They can let you know right away if you have gum disease and at what stage it is in, moderate to severe. Based on the diagnosis they can recommend treatment and home care to get the disease under control. Keep in mind a visual examination is not enough by you or a dental professional to get an accurate diagnosis.
Who is MOST at risk for gum disease?
If you are diabetic you are at risk of having gum disease. Since having diabetes already is taxing on your immune system and gum disease is an infection in your gums. You are twice as likely to have gum disease if you are diabetic.
The older we get, the more likely we are to have infections in our body. The dangerous thing about gum disease is that you most likely will not feel any pain. Like most diseases and infections, your body is working overtime to fight it. Because your body can put up a good fight, the last thing that you will feel is pain.
Is Periodontal Disease linked to Heart Disease?
While a direct cause and effect between periodontal disease and heart disease cannot be proven, it has been indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. When you have periodontal disease in your mouth, the bad bugs, is seeding through your blood steam. The bad bacteria that will travel throughout the rest of your body including your hear kidney and liver. The point is that if you have high cholesterol, have had a heart attack, blocked arteries, bypass surgery or stent, you should be checked for periodontal disease if you have not already.
If you have never been checked for periodontal disease or not recently, contact us and we will make an appointment for you right away.
Yours in Dental Health,
-Thomas Bursich DDS